Malcolm Gladwell’s key to success can be summed up in one phrase

It sounds cheesy to suggest that everyone needs a hobby, but that’s exactly what bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell is saying.

“Always have something that you’re pursuing for your own reasons, that satisfies you in a different way,” he says in an interview with Insider when discussing his new book The Bomber Mafia. “If your job doesn’t allow for that, then you need to go off and do something on the side.”

Gladwell encourages people to trust their instincts — as opposed to our supervisors — with respect to time management.

“You’re often a better judge of what is the best and most productive use of your time than your manager or superior,” he explains. Just don’t tell them that.

Gladwell is the poster boy of do-what-you-want optimism

Gladwell never actually pursued writing as a career. While mulling over viable career paths, it occurred to him that writing reliably brought him joy.

“Well, why would I ever do anything else, then? I’ve solved the problem,” Gladwell says. “I always follow not the path of least resistance, but the path of most fun. I kind of stumbled into writing. I just found it incredibly pleasurable and effortlessly fun, and I found that I looked forward to waking up every morning to go to work.”

He’s written and spoken a lot about passion over the years and how it directly correlates with success. In Outliers, he proposes that it wasn’t The Beatles’ genius that made them a success but rather their passion to become a great band. Watch the video below to learn more about his theory.

In the video he says, “When you put forth effort, you get reward. When you throw your heart, mind, and soul into something, you get something back.”

Always have a project

Similarly, in his book, he says, “When you look at the lives of people who are really successful, what you see over and over again, is that this idea of meaningful work is embedded in their consciousness.” They always have a “project.” What he means is: Don’t let your job dictate 100% of what you do.

And Gladwell has plenty of projects. Since starting his career at The New Yorker in 1996, he’s released five non-fiction books including Blink, Outliers, and The Tipping Point. In 2016, he launched the podcast Revisionist History, where he re-examines either a person or event from the past and asks whether we got it right the first time.

For the full interview on Gladwell’s new book check out the video below.